WASHINGTON — Ben Ritz, director of the Center for Funding America’s Future at the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), today released the following statement after new fiscal projections released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this afternoon demonstrated the enormous cost of policies adopted during the first year of Trump’s presidency:
“The national debt is now on track to reach unprecedented heights over the next decade thanks to the policies adopted by Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress. According to CBO, the federal government will need to borrow $2.7 trillion more over the next decade just to cover the cost of legislation enacted since June – the most expensive of which was last year’s tax cut. The American people cannot afford to foot the bill for this reckless fiscal policy.
“Importantly, CBO’s estimates assume that many policies expire as they are scheduled to under current law. If current policies were instead made permanent, they would add another $2.6 trillion to the gap between revenue and spending. Under this scenario, CBO warns that the national debt held by the public would equal 105 percent of gross domestic product by 2028. That level would be just one percentage point below the all-time high reached at the end of World War II.
“With unemployment at 4.1 percent and economic growth continuing to be strong, now is the time when America should be reducing its budget deficits, not adding to them. Policymakers shouldn’t wait until the middle of a crisis to address this growing problem. Republicans, who have spent years proselytizing against debt and deficits, now have an obligation to prove that it wasn’t just empty rhetoric.
“But Republicans aren’t the only ones who need to change their budgetary behavior. Although Trump and his administration have significantly worsened our nation’s fiscal challenges, he did not create them. As more and more baby boomers retire, the largest programs in the federal budget – Medicare and Social Security – are projected to grow roughly twice as fast as the U.S. economy. Even before the most recent tax cuts were enacted, CBO consistently warned that projected revenues would be insufficient to cover the soaring costs of these programs.
“Simply reversing the policies enacted by the Trump administration isn’t enough for Democrats. The party that champions spending on public investment and social insurance must present the public with a credible plan to pay for it. Democrats should not allow the young voters who put them in office to be buried under a mountain of debt.”
Ben Ritz is available for comment.